Monday, June 29, 2009

Raven & Lily

Russ and I had the opportunity to attend the Raven & Lily fundraiser and silent auction held in the beautiful back yard of Kirsten and Brandon Dickerson's house this past Saturday night. Under twinkling white lights, and amidst the DJ's hip tunes, around seventy-five guests gathered to celebrate the first-ever Los Angeles based event of Raven & Lily.

As taken from their website, Raven & Lily is a non-profit studio dedicated to empowering impoverished women through design partnerships and micro-enterprise opportunities. Essentially, it's all about serving and empowering women. You can read more about their incredible vision and mission via their blog and/or web-site or The event was an opportunity to sell one-of-a-kind creations from the LA and India (Sneha) collections and to share the vision and mission of Raven & Lily with the Los Angeles community.

I became involved with R & L through a friend who invited me to one of the local volunteer parties and I've been hooked ever since. It's great way to spend an afternoon - - sharing community with other women, while also helping to make a difference. This group of women are so welcoming, creative, loving and cool and I feel really blessed to have found them here in LA and look forward to continuing my support through these volunteer parties and in other ways.

Raven & Lily is a remarkable organization that is truly organic and spirit lead. It is exciting to see how God is opening doors and helping to create strategic partnerships with women around the world. One very important guest at Saturday's launch event, was Nivedit (pronounced Ne-vade-it like "you-made-it"). She is a woman from India who, together with her husband, Edwin, are leading efforts throughout the state of Garhwal to share the message of Jesus and serve the under served. The women whom she works with created and sewed many of the items for sale on Saturday (you can find more on the website too). Russ and I were impressed with Nivedit's strong faith and her giving heart. We will continue to pray for her and her husband as they pioneer this uncharted territory in India.

We encourage you to check out the Raven & Lily web-site and buy a gift or make a donation. Every single dollar will go directly to women in need. All of the merchandise is handmade and takes a long time to make, which is why it may cost a little more than something from PB or Crate & Barrel but guess what, it's all about a fair wage and empowering women. I look at it like I'm giving money to a great cause and that the item I purchase is icing on the cake! Not to mention, the merchandise is really really beautiful.

Some of the handmade items from India!

This was an exciting event and our eyes were opened to the service opportunities that are out there. For now, we look forward to serving through prayer and we hope you can remember Raven & Lily and Nivedit and Edwin in your prayers too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Santa Barbara, Solvang, Buellton and Los Olivos Weekend

We haven't posted in a while but I figure I'll start with last weekend and hopefully get to this past weekend tomorrow. Last weekend we ventured about 105 miles North of Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, Solvang, Buellton and Los Olivos for some site seeing and wine tasting.

We headed out on Friday afternoon. Shortly after making our way up the Pacific Coast Highways, Russ and I decided to stop so that we could soak in the last rays of sunshine and watch the surfers across from Neptunes Restaurant. We arrived in Santa Barbara around 7:00 pm and checked into the cute Montecito Inn (no we didn't run into Oprah - - she lives down the road ha ha). After dropping off our bags, we ventured out into the cute town and finally found excellent Indian Food on the main drag. It's surprising how difficult it has been to find Indian food in LA! The next morning, we jumped on the hotel's cute beach cruisers and made our way down to the beach and took a nice ride along the scenic coast. We decided that we'd love to live in Santa Barbara one day, preferably in a big beautiful house on the beach :)

Beautiful little flowers along the beach
Later that afternoon, we met up with the Hill's in Solvang, an adorable Danish town about 25 miles from Santa Barbara. It is always fun when we are with the Hill's! We enjoyed beers and Brats and then it was off to Buellton and Los Olivos. All of these towns are adorable. So much character, cute shops and tons of wine tasting rooms. Unfortunately, we missed the last of the tastings but made up for it at Matt's Tavern. To make the day even more perfect, we ended up being on the receiving end of left over cupcakes from Enjoy Cupcakes ! The owner came out and gave us a whole pan of gourmet cupcakes because she was closing up her shop for the evening -- who doesn't like FREE cupcakes! They were delicious.

Beers & Brats in Solvang
We made our way up to the top of Mount Figueroa where we set up camp and made a fire. We even enjoyed the thoughtful bottle of wine given to us by the Abo's with a special poem asking us to be Godparents on the back of it..ahhhh (I had to take a photo to commemorate the special occassion).

Delicious Washington Wine...In the Santa Ynez Valley of all places - -we miss the Abo's

I love this photo (I wish it were more clear but it's cute)

We parted ways with the Hill's on Sunday and Russ and I hit up Gainey Winery for a tasting and then headed home. We loved the Chardonay and Pinot Grigio but weren't crazy about the Syrah...maybe it was the 80 degree weather? All in all, it was a quick trip that was full of adorable sites. We'd highly recommend it to anyone looking to get out of LA for a quick little getaway. Before you go, be sure to watch Sideways again so you can check out all of the little places in the movie. We watched it afterwards, which was fun too. We hope to do a similar trip in about a month for our 6 year anniversary! We'll see...
xo Ang n Russ

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome Baby Talia - Our Precious Neice!

Welcome Baby Talia - -Aunt Angie and Uncle Russ can't wait to meet you in person!

My sister, Heather, and her husband, Dwayne, added a fourth baby to their nest and it's a beautiful baby girl! After three boys, Heather was content with her life and accepted that God had given her all she would ever need - -three healthy and precious boys. While she would have loved a daughter, she was content knowing that all was as it should be...and then He answered her prayers when she was least expecting it. The Tyners found out they were expecting another baby and this one was a girl! Sometimes, the greatest joys come when we least expect them right?

We still can't believe she has Talia! Heather keeps thinking that she's gonna wake up from a dream but it's true, this little blessing is here to stay and isn't she a precious little gem.

Talia Kathleen Tyner

Born: June 16th at 11:14 am

Stats: 8lbs. 5 oz. - 20.5"